The present lot allows us an intimate glimpse into the private life of one of the greatest female designers of the last century, and clearly displays her ability to elevate and execute the Bauhaus ideals of modernity in all aspects of her life. Beginning with an industrial Wasserkocher manufactured by Omega, Marianne made subtle but impactful modifications. The overtly ornate wooden handle on the body of the kettle was removed and replaced with a thin, smooth cylinder, and the spout was carefully refined, removing all excessive detail. The original lid and its associated handle were also replaced with a thinner, sleeker form, the handle echoing the example found on the variant MT49 tea infuser Brandt executed in 1924. Thoroughly fit for purpose both functionally and now aesthetically, Marianne retained this kettle for her personal use. It can be said that this reworking of an existing design foretells the time she spent at the metal factory Ruppelwerk GmbH in Gotha where Brandt held the position of Creative Director from 1930-33. During her time at the firm, she did away with the older traditional forms from the firm’s existing product line and replaced them with sleek, modern, useful objects (lots 31 and 32) which echoed her time at the Bauhaus.
From 1951 to 1954, Brandt was a member of the faculty of the Berlin Weissensee Art Academy, where she worked alongside Mart Stam, the architect and one of the earliest innovators of the tubular chair. Here, Stam introduced a ‘Seminar for Industrial Design’ and appointed Brandt’s good friend Albert Krause to the faculty. Throughout her entire career, Marianne Brandt was guided by Wilhelm Wagenfeld’s decree that ‘Form and function always have to be designed clearly, one being the result of the other.’
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